Nestled in the midst of a bustling University Center is a Mendocino Farms, an artisanal sandwich shop committed to sourcing seasonal ingredients from local Southern California farmers. Last week my kids and I dined there for the first time and we were all very impressed.
Mendocino Farms interior
The first thing that caught my eye was the extraordinary long line coming out of the restaurant. That was a very good sign to me considering there was a plethora of other restaurants choose from in the center. I didn’t mind the short wait and the line moved fast and efficiently.
The menu board is right at eye level and makes ordering a breeze! Being this was my first time here I was slightly nervous I had walked into an all vegan/vegetarian restaurant but one look at the mouth-watering menu calmed my fears. All of their chicken is free range and they have huge healthy salads with ingredients I love.
Once we placed our order we moved to another counter where we were able to taste complimentary samples of their sides.
While we waited for our meals my kids had a blast drawing on a giant chalkboard, weighing themselves on a giant scale, playing fuse ball and playing corn hole with bean bags on Astroturf. I have never seen such fun in a restaurant. They were so occupied they never fought the whole time we were there.
Mendocino Farms Food
My 9 and 4-year-old started with a grilled cheese sandwich. It was made with american cheese on a buttered quinoa bread. I liked that I could get apples slices or fruit as a side instead of fries.
My 13-year-old son ordered a Prosciutto & Free Range Chicken. It had Creminelli prosciutto & roasted free range chicken breast with local Gioia fresh mozzarella, crushed honey roasted almonds, basil pesto, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes on panini-pressed ciabatta. He loved the texture of the sandwich and said it was very flavorful.
I had the The “sophisticated & prosciutto salad” It had Creminelli prosciutto & shaved, roasted free range chicken breast, and seasonal market roasted vegetables all from a local source. As for topping it had Gioia fresh mozzarella, crushed honey roasted almonds, marinated red peppers, red onions, grape tomatoes, Scarborough Farm’s greens, butter lettuce & romaine with basil pesto-balsamic vinaigrette.
This salad was hearty and very filling. I also enjoyed a cup of tomato soup. It tasted so fresh and was not at all chunky. Just the way I like it.
We also had some incredible sides. Potato salad with dill and a “Healthiest Side Salad Ever”: Raw Beet, Ginger & Carrot Salad with Kale, Black Rice, Golden Raisins, Toasted Hazelnuts & Oranges.
Lastly we tried the pulled pork sandwich. This sandwich is actually one of the reasons I love Mendocino Farms so much. An employee came to our table with this sandwich but the problem was we actually never ordered it. After searching around the restaurant it was decided that the sandwich was made by mistake and they let us have it anyway. I thought that was such a nice gesture!
“The 8 Hour” Smoked BBQ Pulled Pork has secret marinated house smoked pulled pork, Mendo’s pickles, mustard pickle slaw on panini-pressed soft roll. It was delicious.
There are several other Mendocino Farms locations throughout Southern California and you can find them here.